Gold scales near a two-week peak as Treasury yields retreat. Gold prices are currently trading at $1,915. Gold has risen about 1.3% so far in the week, which could be its first week of gains this month, as prices climbed to their highest since August 10th, on Thursday. The US dollar raced towards its sixth straight week gain, making bullion more expensive for overseas buyers.
The false break of $1,900 has provided a nice rally to the $1,920 area, but Powell can send gold back down to $1,900 as much as he could send it to $1,940.
For more rate clues, investors focus on Jerome Powell and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s speeches, expected later Friday at the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Analysts expect Powell to reiterate the central bank’s stance of keeping interest rates higher for longer to counter inflationary risk while stressing that policy decisions will be highly dependent on incoming data.
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Bitcoin price is consolidating above the $25,500 level. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap could start a decent increase if there is a close above the $27,000 resistance. Bitcoin is currently down 10.90% month-to-date. On-chain data shows the Bitcoin Network Value to Transaction ratio is flashing a buy signal, a sign that the bottom for the asset’s price might now be on.
According to a recent Galaxy Research report, $25,000 is a key level to watch, as it has served as technical support and resistance several times as far back as May 2022, and it’s where last Thursday’s flash crash found support. When looking onchain at Bitcoin supply, the level also stands out: 22% of all BTC supply has changed hands between $25,300 and $31,575.
The uptick in price comes as key whales and sharks’ addresses have started accumulating Bitcoin again. According to available data, there are currently 156,660 wallets holding between 10 and 10,000 BTC, and these addresses have collectively accumulated $308.06 million worth of Bitcoin since August 17th.
Ethereum is recovering above the $1,650 resistance, the most significant percentage increase since July 13th, when it gained 5.98%. Eth could rise further if there is a clear move above the $1,700 price mark.
Over the last week, Ethereum has seen its price take a slight hit following the general market crash due to reports of a massive Bitcoin sell-off. On Thursday, August 24th, Sentiment posted a report on X (formally known as Twitter) stating that Ethereum has recorded its largest level of whale transactions in the last 16 weeks. Sentiment reported that Ethereum experienced 23,073 ETH whale transactions in the past week, marking it the network’s highest since May 4th.
Investment firm ARK Invest and 21Shares are joining forces to seek approval for two Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds. This move comes in response to an indication that the US Securities and Exchange Commission might soon start greenlighting such applications.
Solana Pay Added as Payment Option in Shopify with NFT Loyalty Programs Feature
Solana Pay, the decentralised payment app developed by Solana Labs, has been added as an option for companies that use the leading e-commerce platform Shopify. That means the millions of businesses that use Shopify can offer customers Solana Pay as a payment option. Its initial integration will feature USDC. The integration lets merchants establish creative loyalty programs, including innovative systems like NFT loyalty tokens. For example, customers making repeat purchases through Solana Pay could receive discounts or other rewards. Shopify contributes 10% of US e-commerce and facilitates economic activity worth $444 billion worldwide. The platform is no stranger to crypto, having integrated Strike for Bitcoin lightning network payments last year alongside other platforms like Coinbase Commerce and Bitpay.
Coinbase Takes Equity Stake in $USDC Issuer Circle
Coinbase and Circle announced they have reached a new agreement that Coinbase is taking a minority equity stake in Circle. Meanwhile, Centre Consortium, the governance consortium for $USDC, will be dissolved, and Circle will have complete control of the governance and operations of $USDC. According to their joint statement, the investment means that Coinbase and Circle will now have even greater strategic and economic alignment on the future of the financial system. Coinbase is committed to the long-term success of the stablecoin ecosystem and $USDC. In addition, Centre Consortium will no longer exist as a stand-alone entity, and Circle will remain as the issuer of $USDC, bringing any Centre governance and operations responsibilities in-house. The new structure will streamline the operations and governance and enhance the direct accountability of Circle as the issuer, including holding all the smart contract keys, complying with regulations on the governance of reserves and enabling $USDC on new blockchains. Circle also announced that $USDC will launch on six new blockchains between September and October, bringing multi-chain access of $USDC up to 15 blockchains.
THORChain announced the launch of its lending feature, which has no liquidations, interest, or expiration. Users can access the lending service via THORSwap or Lends. THORChain’s lending feature supports using $BTC or $ETH as collateral now and will be open to all Layer1 gas assets supported on THORChain. The collateralisation ratio is between 200% to 500%. Debt is denominated in $TOR, a USD stablecoin that can’t be held or traded and can only be used as the pricing instrument for debt in the lending feature. Loans have a minimum period of 30 days. Borrowers can repay their debt any time after 30 days and receive their collateral back. Partial repayments are possible, but the collateral is released once the debt is fully repaid. Any THORChain-supported asset can be used to repay the debt. The lending feature has a loan cap of 500 million $RUNE. According to THORChain, the feature may have bugs, issues, and vulnerabilities that may require chain pauses, halts, or fixes. Node operators and developers will stay alert in the coming weeks.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has stated that it is actively studying establishing a regulatory framework for the digital Hong Kong dollar or stablecoins. It aims to promote the industry’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) application to tokenise bank deposits. The HKMA plans to hold a seminar with the industry in the upcoming quarter to introduce DLT technology. HKMA Deputy Chief noted that the tokenisation of bank deposits is not on a fixed timeline and will not be mandatory for all banks to adopt. The progress of this initiative will run independently from the research on the digital Hong Kong dollar; both efforts will proceed in parallel.
RBA trial finds eAUD launch ‘some years away’
The Reserve Bank of Australia says a central bank digital currency could increase the “efficiency and resilience” of the payments system by allowing money to be programmed and to settle transactions instantly on a blockchain system. However, the RBA needs to be convinced a CBDC is necessary to create such benefits, given alternative new forms of money are still emerging. The RBA and Digital Finance Co-operative Research Centre warned more research is required to deal with legal, regulatory, technical, and operational issues to ensure any eAUD operates safely if one is created.
“Given the many issues that are yet to be resolved, any decision on a CBDC in Australia is likely to be some years away,” the RBA and DFCRC said in a report on 14 pilot projects published on Wednesday.
UK to Put Magnifying Glass on Crypto Transfers
The country’s financial regulator laid out guidance for applying rules for traditional money transfers to those involving digital assets. Digital asset companies will have to collect and transmit data on cryptocurrency transfers under new rules from the UK’s financial regulator as the country implements a law to stop digital asset movement for illicit activity. UK crypto operators will be expected from September 1st to comply with what is known as the Travel Rule, a multi-country push aimed at thwarting criminal uses of digital assets such as money laundering and terrorist financing, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday. However, the agency said companies can continue to send digital assets to and receive them from jurisdictions that still need to implement the rule under certain conditions.
Crypto lender Ledn has joined forces with crypto real estate broker Parallel, enabling investors to finance and acquire Cayman Islands properties by leveraging their digital assets. The initiative helps crypto natives to secure a “Golden Visa” and permanent residency in the British Overseas Territory without having to sell their cryptocurrency or exchange it for fiat, according to a statement. It allows users to leverage their Bitcoin for Ledn loans and purchase properties via Parallel compliantly. The loans start with a 50% loan-to-value ratio at an annual interest rate of 12.9%. The “Golden Visa” is a part of citizenship-by-investment programs available in 22 countries globally, including Portugal, Spain, Italy and the US (via the EB-5 Investor Visa). It offers investors a chance at permanent residency, leading to potential citizenship. In the Cayman Islands, the quickest path to residency requires a minimum real estate investment of $2.4 million.
Thailand Prime Minister Proposed National’ Airdrop’ for Citizens During Campaign Real Estate.
Developer Srettha Thavisin has been chosen as the next Prime Minister of Thailand. Prior to his entry into politics, Thavisin held the position of CEO at Sansiri, a prominent real estate development company actively engaged in Thailand’s digital asset sector. Sansiri ventured into the digital asset space through strategic partnerships and innovative ventures. In 2021, the company acquired a 15% stake in XSpring, a Thailand-based digital asset service provider that operates a crypto brokerage in collaboration with Krungthai Bank, along with a licensed ICO portal.
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